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Chris Rasmussen’s “Friction” is ambient and vulnerable

Senior Biola student released his year-long project on Friday, May 13.  |  Hayley Langdon/THE Chimes


On Friday night, I packed into a house with 80 or so other people and watched as Chris Rasmussen performed songs from his debut album “Friction.”

Fluid and Entrancing

The senior art major turned a living room and kitchen into a makeshift venue to debut the music he had worked on for the past year. With the wall behind him covered in projected black and white footage of water, the space itself reflected the fluid and entrancing music Rasmussen performed. It almost felt as though the music itself propelled the movement of the water.

Rasmussen began by thanking everyone who came out to support him and the acts who opened up for him — Fjord and DJ Cortez. Fjord, a persona created by senior film major Jordan McKinney, performed various songs, most notably the disco “One Dance.” Following Fjord, Daniel “DJ” Cortez, senior business major, helped instill the atmosphere Rasmussen’s music would create by covering songs like Frank Ocean’s “Wiseman.”

Rasmussen then began playing the opening song on the album, “Morning Feeling,” accompanied by senior studio art major Nico Hernandez on drums. The night continued with each song on “Friction,” with the exception of the instrumental “Elevatorthings.” Rasmussen closed the night with a cover of “Heavenly Father” by Bon Iver. With every song on “Friction” and even his cover of “Heavenly Father,” Rasmussen created and sustained his ambient singer-songwriter sound.

Captivating and Diverse

Since he alternated between singing while playing guitar and singing without it, Rasmussen’s performance was captivating and diverse, lending a new feel to each song he performed. Where a handful of artists could come across as awkward without their instrument to hide behind, Rasmussen seemed just as comfortable without his guitar as he did with it.

Although I was a few rows back, the visual aspect of the performance was not lost on me. If there was ever a time I could no longer see Rasmussen as he played, his larger silhouette was displayed over the waves projected behind him, adding to the soothing and contemplative mindset I found in his music. When I looked out at the audience, everyone was visibly affected by the music from “Friction.” The crowd was moving their bodies and nodding their heads to the ebb and flow of Rasmussen’s voice alongside the evolution of each song. It was exciting to see people react so intimately to his music, but even more than that, to see the way he lost himself in his own performance.

With the music from “Friction,” Rasmussen created an alluring and vulnerable experience for anyone who was in attendance for the album’s release party. Fortunately for those who were not there, the perfection and beauty of Rasmussen’s performance can still be heard by anyone who listens to “Friction.”

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